It’s 2 hours before midnight and you’re exhausted from a long day of work. The thought of what foods to eat at night when hungry is lingering. Or maybe you’re unable to sleep because your stomach is bothering you too much and now you realize you need food.
What are you going to do? Probably eat something to quiet down that stomach of yours, right? Well, that’s what most people would do. And since most means many, a list of foods to eat at night when hungry is very much needed!
A lot of people get an eerie feeling when they think about snacking before bedtime, especially when they’re trying to lose weight. But snacking in the middle of the night is not as bad as people make it to be–you just need to be smart about it.
Here is what to eat at night when hungry, the smart ways:
Fresh Fruit and Nuts
With some fresh fruits and nuts you can get loads of flavor, vitamins, fiber, and protein which will make for a nourishing combination that will keep you nice and satisfied to fall in sleep.
Some tasty combinations include an apple with a handful of almonds, a dozen pecans, a banana, or a pear with a couple of walnuts. And if you’re out of nuts, you can spread some peanut or almond butter on banana slices. You can also try dipping your apple slices in almond butter as well.
If you find that your almond butter is too hardened or thick for dipping, try putting a tablespoon or 2 of almond butter on top of a microwave safe dish, then proceed to microwave for about 30 seconds or until they’re all nice and melty.
If you’re craving for salty foods, try munching on some almonds. One single serving of almonds contains 5g of protein. One of many health benefits that almonds have is the ability to help you repair muscle overnight because of the fiber they contain which will also help to keep you feel full longer, preventing you from mindless snacking on junk foods.
In addition, almonds are a fat-burning superfood. One study was examining overweight adults and found that those who had eaten a quarter cup of almonds for 6 months had a 62% reduced weight and body mass index (BMI).
Each banana is approximately 100 calories and will help diminish any sugar cravings you might come across late at night. You can try freezing an unpeeled banana and mashing it all up with a fork to make yourself a nice, tasty ice cream-like treat!
Cereal and Milk
The best snacks to eat late at night are foods that are light and easy to digest. A good idea is to snack on something with carbohydrates when it’s late at night because, well, they’re easy to digest.
All you need to do now is add a little protein and fiber to the mix and you have yourself the perfect late night snack! You can get some fiber and extra vitamins or minerals from cold cereal. Plus, it’s a good choice if you’re craving something sweet. Be careful not to overdo it and accidentally overeat or you will make it harder to lose weight, so its best to try to keep healthy portion sizes in mind when putting together your late night snack(s). A single serving of cold cereal equates to 3/4 of a cup. Add some milk, rice milk or almond milk and you will have yourself a quick, healthy late night snack.
Also, you might want to avoid heavy meals especially if you have some heartburn problems.
A Bowl of Berries
Put the bowl of candy away and swap that with something light and healthier! It might be hard not to dig a hand into the candy bowl while you’re on your search for a late night snack in the kitchen or on your way to the bedroom. In that case, a much better option is…
You guessed it: Berries!
Berries are probably the most commonly sought foods to get nutrition value from, and that might have to do with how quick it takes to start eating them. You only need to rinse them and that’s it! You can eat them immediately compared to fruits like kiwis and orange where you have to peel the skin off (unless you like eating the skin). And they’re also very delicious (I think we can all agree with that).
Not only are they high in minerals and vitamins, but the pigments that give the berries their color actually contain plenty of antioxidants that bring good health benefits to our bodies.
Blueberries can either be eaten by themselves, mixed with other fruits like strawberries or added as an ingredient to recipes. Raspberries and blackberries are commonly eaten together as well. Serve your berries raw to obtain the most health benefits from them as possible. Berries also make a great late night snack when eaten with Greek yogurt.
Pistachios make a great late night snack! Not only are they low in calories, they’re also tasty!
Pistachios also have an abundance of protein content (around 6g protein per oz). In addition, out of all the nuts, pistachios have the lowest fat content.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Peanut butter and jelly makes a great sandwich for a late night food. It’s also a healthy way to go about snacking–there’s a reason why they were served in elementary school!
Pour yourself a glass of milk along with the P&J sandwich as well. If you can, try to choose whole grain bread over white bread. The reason is because white bread are all made up of highly-processed simple carbohydrates which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
If you’re not feeling peanut butter very much you can always substitute it with almond or cashew butter.
100-percent fruit preserves are not much healthier than plain old jelly but they do taste better if you’re more about the taste.
Cheese and Crackers
Here’s a savory late night snack idea! Serve a couple slices of cheese along with whole grain crackers. You can find an abundant source of calcium in cheese; and whole grain crackers offer some additional fiber as well.
Try to use a cheese slicer and proceed to thin slice some aged cheddar, provolone, or gouda. Blue cheese is also good, especially with crackers that have a little bit of sweet in them.
Remember to monitor your serving sizes if you’re trying to watch your weight since cheese snacks can quickly add up in calories if you’re eating huge chunks of it. Add some apple slices, fresh grapes, or fresh veggies if you need to add a little more volume to fill up your stomach.
Make your stomach happy with a turkey sandwich in whole grain bread and a little mustard or mayo will help keep those hunger signals at bay without making you uncomfortably full. That’s what happens when you have your combination of fiber and protein 🙂 Add a bit of lettuce, a slice of tomato and you now have your lucky self one heck of a delicious, healthy late night sandwich!
Yogurt and Fruit
Ditch the ice-cream! Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and probiotic bacteria that are great for a healthy digestive system. Start with plain yogurt, additionally adding some flavor with chopped nuts, honey, or berries.
If you’re overwhelmed by all the different kinds of flavored yogurt cups in the grocery store, pick a few of your favorite flavors. But be sure to also pay attention to the labels before purchasing as some varieties can be unnecessarily high in calories and sugar.
Fresh Vegetables and Dip
Fresh vegetables contain many minerals, vitamins and fiber. They’re perfect to serve as a healthy and crunchy late night snack. You can have any combination of raw carrots, cucumber slices, celery, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, and grape tomatoes as they will do just fine. You can even enhance the flavor with a veggie dip, hummus, a bit of salad dressing or lite potato chip dip.
What makes popcorn an awesome choice? Not only their delicious taste, but they also count as a whole grain! They’re good for your waistline as well as long as they aren’t drenched in butter (Yuck). As a matter of fact, 3 cups of air-popped popcorn contains less than 100 calories and about 4g of fiber.
If you don’t have an air popper you can still make healthy popcorn with a little bit of oil and a brown paper lunch bag (easily found in grocery stores), and a microwave. Simply place 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn and 1 tspn vegetable oil in a bowl. Proceed to mix until the kernels are coated the way you want, and sprinkle with 1/2 tspn salt.
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Pour the popcorn, salt and oil mixture into a brown paper bad and proceed to fold the edge of the bag over twice.
Then, place the bag in the microwave and start to cook at full power for about 3 minutes (or until the popping slows down to about 1 or 2 pops per second). You will probably see some unpopped kernels which is fine. If left cooking for too long, the popcorn will get burned. Burned popcorn is not too pleasant!
You know what you just might need for a cold, sleepless night? A warm, smoothing bowl of oatmeal!
You can get a great source of fiber and beta-glucan from oatmeal, which will help keep your cholesterol levels at bay.
Boost the nutrition value by adding some fresh berries, dried fruit, or nuts.
Cherries not only satisfy your late night cravings, they can also help you sleep better. They contain a natural source of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. You can have a glass or bowl of tart cherry juice before bedtime.
Related: 15 Foods to Diminish Belly Fat
A study published from the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that the adults who consumed tart cherry juice benefited from having improvements in sleep quality and sleep time.
Not only that: cherries are also full of antioxidants, which can help fight against inflammation and assist in weight loss.
Hard Boiled Egg
One hard boiled egg contains 80 calories and they’re rich in healthy fats and protein. Have them with sliced cucumber for a light late night snack.
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